This section is for feedback and input from your side of the monitor. We publish "letters to the editor" as they come in along with our responses. WinterSoldier.com is also searching for primary documents, films, photographs and reports related to the portion of the anti-war movement that centered around the Winter Soldier Investigation.
My name is Don Matthews. I was a voice intercept operator, I spoke fluent
Vietnamese, with the 265th Radio Research Company/101st Abn Div from late
Feb. to Dec. 1971. I accompanied US and ARVN infantry units on operations
through western Thua Thien province from Feb. to Nov. of that year. I never saw an atrocity and only witnessed one possible fragging. I never saw prisoners abused. The US line companies and platoons I served with were led by captains on their 2d tour and by draftee sergeants. The lieutenants were always competent tactically and took care of their soldiers. Many of the EM had attended or graduated from college. The racial mix was about 70/30 white and minority. Most infantrymen were draftees.
Morale amongst the soldiers with whom I served was very good. On the
surface, one would get the impression that we were all anti-war, rebellious
hotheads. This was only on the surface and was probably a natural
espression of young men in a no-win situation with little ability to
influence where we were and what we were doing. However, that was just the
surface grousing and complaining. In actuality, we took care of each other
and always operated in a professional manner. I am convinced the fact that
we suffered fewer casualties than the years previous to my time was due to
this awareness of our situation... as well as the change in tactics
manifested after Gen Abrams became MACV commander. We recognized the great
danger we faced operating in NVA territory and took appropriate measures to
maximize security. The greatest threats I faced were booby traps, indirect
fire, and direct fire on helicopters.
After my return and discharge, I enrolled in school and had contact with
VVAW. I was unimpressed, especially after determining that the members I
got to know were either not veterans of sustained operations or were not
Vietnam veterans at all. The publicity the VVAW received and continues to
receive is one of the shameful legacies of our involvement in SE Asia.
Well said. Thanks for the firsthand perspective, and for your service. ----------
Let me add a bit about Ted Kennedy. I had commanded the Ist Bn, 84th Artillery, the general support artillery battalion of the 9th Infantry Div in Vietnam for several months in 1967 when I was promoted to Colonel and became the 7th O-6 in the Division, which was authorized only 6. After a couple of interim jobs with both the 9th Div and Hq, US Army, Vietnam at Long Binh, I became the first Chief of the USARV Artillery Section which was newly established and badly needed--it covered the whole of South Vietnam.
The anti-war protesters at home had hollered long and loud about VN refugees and blamed the US military for their plight, totally ignoring the fact that in every case refugees fled towards the US and South Vietnamese forces rather than away from them. One of the protesters was Ted Kennedy, Chairman of a Senate Committee on Refugees. He and some some staff members had come to Vietnam in early Jan. 1968 to investigate the situation and MACV, Gen. Westmoreland's command, cooperated fully. A visit to the I Corps area, just south of the DMZ, where most of the refugees from North Vietnam had settled to be as close to their old home as possible, was set up, but Kennedy refused to go there. Why? He wouldn't admit it, but MACV thought it was because the refugee program there had been a rousing success, and he had come to find fault. They also had set up other visits which Kennedy and his staff did make.
For the exit interview at MACV, MG Kerwin, the J3, had requested that I, as Chief, USARV Arty Section, be present to answer any questions about how we handled civilian safety while fulfilling our combat mission, and to address claims that many civilian casualties resulted from our artillery firing. The 7th AF had someone there to cover air activities, including B-52 bombing raids.
Senator Kennedy said not a word during the lengthy discussion, leaving all questioning to a rather young staffer. I described the "clearance to fire" procedures done in conjunction with VN regional authorities, the double-check procedures on firing data, the problem of having no front lines, the investigations that were conducted after every reported incident and their results, and the fact that a large number of the civilians who had been killed or injured had been in off-limits areas set up by Vietnamese authorities. I also emphasized that the Rules of Engagement were actually biased against the safety of our own troops to protect civilians.
Everyone seemed satisfied and Senator Kennedy had no questions. He thanked Gen. Kerwin for the information and started shaking hands around the room, but I moved to a point where I could avoid shaking hands with a man for whom I had no respect. My opinion was confirmed after the Chappaquiddick incident the following year, and I was absolutely furious when I saw him on TV one night saying "300,000 Vietnamese civilians have been killed during this war, some by the VC, but most by American air and artillery." That was totally untrue and he knew that it was untrue. Ted Kennedy is a disgrace.
Ray H. Smith
Col. USA - Retired
Col. Smith wrote in response to a recent news item in which Sen. Kennedy denounced those who correctly anticipated a bloodbath in Southeast Asia if we deserted our South Vietnamese allies, claiming, incredibly, that no such thing ever happened. It's clear that Kennedy cares little for the truth if it doesn't advance his political goals. ----------
As a mother of two boys during the Vietnam war, I remember being so very glad they were too young to be drafted. I was horrified by what I imagined wives, mothers, family and friends, must have gone through with loved ones in Vietnam. The media constantly pounded away on how wrong, how immoral, how criminal the war was. I didn't know then the liberals were the driving force behind the medias. Nothing good could come out of that war and nobody could say it would. John Kerry is saying the same things today about Iraq.
I honestly cannot remember anyone who contested what we were being told.
I am ashamed to say I believed every word of it. However, I have no excuse for being so damned stupid as to believe all that and not once make the effort to find out for myself the why's and how's of the Vietnam war. I wouldn't do that today, but I sure as hell did back then.
I have a sneaky suspicion the writer from www.thebrokenwing.com was indoctrinated by the media back then too. It's no surprise some military people have committed terrible acts. I'm not convinced the percentage of murders and rapes committed in Vietnam was any greater than the percentage of murders and rapes by the same amount of ordinary American citizens. It wasn't until I heard John O'Neil on Fox that I knew anything about Kerry's testimony before Congress. Fortunately, I have a computer and all the time in the world to research, so now I know, and I cannot stomach a man who would sell out his comrades and his country.
Nothing to be ashamed of -- you based your opinions on the best evidence you had available. The difference today is that the leftists no longer control all the information channels, which gives intellectually honest people a shot at finding out the truth.----------
Who cares !!! Have you not heard the war is over- Get over it
Welcome to the revolution.
The war in Vietnam is over. The war to set the record straight about Vietnam continues. ----------
I served in DaNang Vietnam (MCB 53) in 1968, and again in 1969 with Seabee Team MCB 5301, supporting our various military commands and being involved in civic action with our host nationals.. MCB 53 during 1968 and 1969 had detachments throughout Vietnam, Can Tho, Khe Sahn, Dong Ha, Quang Tri as well as other areas,and Soc Trang where MCB 5301 was located. We all knew what free fire zones were and what the rules of engagement were. I never saw or heard of any abuses of the rules during my two tours in Vietnam, DaNang or Soc Trang. Seabee teams and Detachments that were located throughout Vietnam, on occasion took horrific losses in the pursuit of there mission, as did the Marines and Army units that they on occasion served with. I was fortunate that I was able to have contact with Special Ops forces and River Patrol units that carried out missions in that general area. I had personal friends from these units that paid the highest of price for distinguished service to their country. I was offended and still am offended by the actions of John Kerry, Jane Fonda and their blatant disregard for the well being of the military and POW's that were enduring casualties and loss of life at that time.. It was, and is still is a insult to the soldiers and sailors who paid the supreme price in service to their country, and to their loved ones left behind.
We all should be thankful that in this country it possible to speak before a Senate Committee, admit to have committed atrocities during war and not be prosecuted for it. Only in America is it possible to be a anti-war activist while in the armed forces inactive reserve and commit acts of treason to our nation, and not be prosecuted for it! And finally, only in America could someone with those credentials be elected to public office and be put on the ballot for President of the United States.....
For those who opt to not research the credentials of Senator Kerry or read "Unfit for Command", I urge you to at the very least look at the pictures of the book. Remember one picture is worth a thousand words!
God bless this country of ours, and the military members who protect it!
Well said. ----------
After reading several of the posted articles in full length it becomes immediately clear what all the growing discussion is about. It centers around a few people who miss the point. There is a difference between disagreeing with the position in which soldiers are placed and demeaning and degrading the sacrifices of those same soldiers. It is very obvious that John kerry was not doing the latter.
In our society its is okay to disagree with our government. I would even say that it is often neccessary and fundamental to it(remember the concept of checks and balances). John Kerry was showing disdain for the decisions made by the government that put soldiers in terrible positions. If you read his congressional testimony, this is crystal clear. He doesn't want to name anyone for fear that others will be singled out. He only claims to represent a portion of soldiers who are upset not the entire group sent. He puts the blame on the government and not the soldiers. He was not trying to accuse soldiers of crimes.
He also discussed a very real way of bringing home POWs. His point is POWs come home when wars are over, so prolonging the war is not going to bring them home any faster which is the course that the government seemed to prefer.
Reading these testimonies and debates reminds me so much of our current situation. I would like to thank you for hosting this information. I feel better knowing the truth about all this mud slinging. It is obviously false.
While many of you may feel hurt by the actions of John Kerry after the war your are losing site of his real target. The system that sent you there in the first place. That's the beauty of our system; mistakes can be corrected, but only if people have the courage to stand up and point out that something is wrong.
Your argument is well-stated, but precisely wrong. The way Kerry and the VVAW chose to oppose the war was by making unsupported allegations of widespread, routine atrocities against civilians, committed by American troops. ----------
Excellent web site; very informative. I salute your efforts at trying to bring forth the truth about what Kerry is all about. I returned from Vietnam in January 1970 from service with the 1st Marine Division directly to INDIANA UNIVERSITY, Bloomington, IN where my welcome was as frosty as the January weather. Kerry and company did nothing but paint those few such as I on that campus as targets for contempt and disregard over the next three years. I am still waiting for Kerry and friends to discuss something that I did see--how the other side treated Americans and South Vietnamese who fell into their hands. Funny, how the Left has yet to hold any meetings to protest Communist atrocities or discuss why there are more than a million Vietnamese refugees in this country even more if you count Laos and Cambodia with more than 30,000 of these Asian refugees in my Virginia county. Bravo for your efforts.
There is no honest way to spin this as merely a way of disagreeing with the government. Any soldier who commits a war crime is personally responsible for that act, regardless of the circumstances. Pretending that Kerry "blamed the government and not the soldiers" therefore doesn't wash. Kerry's false statements before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations were a blood libel against every American who served honorably in that war.
Let's try an example a bit closer to home. Imagine that our own organization devoted itself to spreading rumors that people like you frequently rape and murder children. Might you not be offended? Would you be impressed by an explanation that we merely intended to speak out against violent crime?
Neither are the Vietnam veterans John Kerry slandered.
Thanks for writing. The fact that so many Southeast Asian refugees deserted the new communist paradise -- many dying in the attempt -- to live in America does tend to undercut the Kerry / VVAW argument that we were the ones committing the war crimes.----------
Love the web site and the great articles of truth I have read.
As a Vietnam Veteran, I was, for well over a decade until the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated, quite ashamed to be a veteran, mostly in part because of the likes of John Kerry and his crew. I served with an Infantry company as a rifleman, in 2 different divisions in central highlands and then in the Da Nang area, and never seen attrocity one.
Today, I am shame free and quite proud to have served My Country when I was called. I would gladly do so again. Vietnam is 35 years behind us, an I am free of the John Kerry stigmatism, I hope and pray that our country will also be spared from the communist's choice, John Turncoat Kerry.
Our troops today need our support more than ever, I for one salute each and everyone of them for their dedication and sacrifice to our nation. It is also vital that we/they have leadership with the courage to make difficult decisions and fully back and support our troops. John Kerry has proven that he is incapable of this leadership quality, his record says it all.
God Bless America!
Nobody who served honorably -- as the overwhelming majority of Vietnam veterans did -- has any reason to feel ashamed. The correction of that historical injustice is long overdue, and we're honored to help it along a bit.----------
Thanks for serving.
First I want to say thanks for taking the time to answer my last letter, I realize that it was too long to put on your Incoming page and mostly treaded on familiar ground but I appreciated the reply.
After reading the updated Incoming page it strikes me how eloquent and humble the Vietnam Vets are when describing their experiences under what can only be imagined as nightmarish circumstances. The running theme seems to be guys that say, "I didn't do anything special, I just did my job." They are the real heroes, and, thanks in large part to the betrayal of John Kerry, the recognition and respect they deserve for honorably serving our country is long overdue. I believe that you at wintersoldier.com have done a great service toward that end. My great hope is that if enough people learn the truth about him, John Kerry will never again be given the chance to betray our young men and women who have been called to defend all we hold dear as Americans.
I also have to say I get a kick out of the Looney libs. (I personally believe that liberals are proof positive that God has a sense of humor) They spit venom and call you a liar when they haven't even bothered to read the factual information you provide. Kerry's own words speak volumes about his character, or more accurately, lack of character. Considering the spelling and grammar they use to express their ignorance I have to wonder if they can even read at all. That phenomenon is not unique to your site either; it seems indicative of Kerry supporters wherever you find them.
Maybe there is some deeper meaning there about the overall intelligence level of Kerry supporters but I will leave that for someone else to ponder.
I speak for my family and myself when I say to all who have served in the military, both past and present, "Thank you for the sacrifices that you have made to protect our country. You earned with your blood, sweat, and tears, the freedoms that so many of us take for granted. We should all be extremely grateful."
Thanks again and God bless our troops who are putting their lives on the line again today for all of us, even ingrate liberals.
Thanks for the followup. We're occasionally accused of manufacturing badly-written, content-free opposition letters, but that isn't the case. We agree that the eloquence of the veterans who write to us speaks for itself.----------
You all must be desperate, no one believes your lies, you don't care that other veterans and Military records don't back-up your claims!! Read the whole transcript Sen Kerry blamed the government and tried to stop the war!!!!! Medals and ribbons are symbols, used in protest's, you all need to move on and quit trying to disgrace a brave and honorable man! There were no secrete meetings with the enemy, everything you spout is a lie! President Bush and Sen McCain even want you to stop spreading your lies!!! God knows that this is a smear campaign and you make the Vietnam vets look BAD!!!!!!!!! The millions you have spent would be better served by donating to a veterans group, do some good in the world and quit spreading lie's and hate!!!!!!
If nobody believes us, why are you so worked up? ----------
Words fail to describe your efforts. Contemptuous, dishonorable, dishonest are some that come to mind. I am a Vietnam veteran and a former member of VVAW. You proudly post the FBI spying on VVAW. VVAW was a peaceful political organization. There was never a violent act committed by us. I was present during the run up to the so called Gainsville eight trial,. You may recall that those charges were dismissed by a jury after about an hours deliberation. The FBI spying was nothing more than attempted intimidation of Americans doing what they believed in buy a corrupt and dishonorable president. Interesting the side you come down on; against your fellow vets and on the side of a president who lied and tried to corrupt the political process while sending me and other like me to die for his lies.
You also apparently say that no atrocities ever happened in Vietnam. Kerry did not say every soldier committed war crimes, he said that war crimes were committed and that the brass looked the other way and by their non-action defacto approved of them. How can you be so stupid as to think no war crimes were ever committed in Vietnam? War crimes are committed in every war. What would you call free fire zones or carpet bombing of N Vietnam, if not war crimes? No VC suspect was ever pushed out of a chopper of course. MyLai never happened I suppose? No villages were ever burned, no animals were ever killed to keep supplies for the VC? Napalm was never dropped on villages or civilians?
Your postings also reflect a ridiculous non-understanding of the history of Vietnam and the war. I suggest you read some history not written by people with an axe to grind; you know scholarship. You may have heard it.
You rant about what Sen. Kerry did and said 35 years ago but happily ignore Bush's attempts and advocacy of reducing combat pay, overseas allowances, and underfunding the VA I can also only assume you agree with O'Neil's assertion that PTSD was all a VVAW induced fake. Can I also assume you opposed treatment of the Gulf war vets for their problems because there was no diagnosis you found acceptable?
You must also support O'Neil's apparent belief that he and only he has the right to pass judgment on whether or not our wounds deserve a purple heart. Shall I sent you my medical records so you can let me know if I deserved my purple heart?
I say again, you and O,Neil are scurrilous, contemptuous, dishonorable, dishonest. You have shit all over every Vietnam vet. You have pulled the scabs of wounds we are all trying to live with and the worse part of all is you have done their dishonorable deed for crass political purposes.
The FBI was tracking the VVAW for good and sufficient reason. They (you) were advocating sedition, mutiny, and seriously considering political assassinations. ----------
The FBI was tracking the VVAW for good and sufficient reason. They (you) were advocating sedition, mutiny, and seriously considering political assassinations.
Your statement that we "apparently say that no atrocities ever happened in Vietnam" is a lie. We have said, repeatedly, that atrocities existed but were rare.
Kerry claimed that atrocities were routine; that they were authorized by officers "at all levels of command." That was also a lie.
Thousands of veterans have written to WinterSoldier.com, and an overwhelming majority support what we're doing. They don't seem to think that our efforts dishonor their service.
They say you and your friends did that.
Bullshit, I was there (VVAW) you were not this IS a lie.----------
I was not aware of the specifics but I do remember Camil. I remember being at his house and in meetings with him and my impression was that he was nuts and that impression was shared with others. It is well to note that he did not receive support for his plot. At the time, any idea would probably have been allowed to be debated, even one as stupid and counter to the ethos of VVAW at that. We were oh so democratic back then.
Your statement that we "apparently say that no atrocities ever happened in Vietnam" is a lie. We have said, repeatedly, that atrocities existed but were rare.
OK, My mistake not the same as a lie but your use of the word say a lot about your ethics or lack there of
Kerry claimed that atrocities were routine; that they were authorized by officers "at all levels of command."
That was also a lie. How much more routine can carpet bombing and free fire zones be.
Thousands of veterans have written to WinterSoldier.com during the last 6 months, and an overwhelming majority support what we're doing. They don't seem to think that our efforts dishonor their service.
They say you and your friends did that.
We tried to end the war and bring our buddies home. What did you do? I say again, this is just partisan and dishonest (as Sen.McCain also said.) If Sen Kerry was a Republican, none of this would ever have been said.
Time presses, so we'll just respond to your first claim; that the VVAW really didn't advocate sedition, mutiny, and consider assassinating Senators.
The quote below comes from a proclamation the VVAW issued in Detroit at the end of the Winter Soldier event:
"We, as veterans of the war in Vietnam, give notice that if Laos is attacked, we will respond at once. We call for mass civil disobedience to take place all over this country. We call for industry to shut down. We call upon the students to close the schools. We call upon our brothers who are still in uniform to close the military bases throughout America and the world. We call on the anti-war movement to shut down the major cities of America.... If this be a threat, let us make the most of it... We have been trained to fight. If need be we will use the knowledge we have gained against those who are seeking to extend this war." -- 100-HQ-448092, Section 02, page 66.
As for Camil's assassination plot, it's described in several books and multiple news articles, as well as in the FBI files themselves. See Thomas Lipscomb's reporting from earlier this year:
How Kerry Quit Veterans Group Amid Dark Plot
New Witness: Kerry Was Present at Dark Plot Meeting
Kerry's Campaign Asked a Veteran to Change Story
Perhaps you didn't know about these plans or meetings, but there isn't any reasonable doubt that they did occur.
I also recall that after VVAW Camil got into a shoot out or maybe the FBI just shot him, I don't recall, in some sort of a drug deal. That is the kind of guy he was. His rantings were not typical of VVAW of that I am absolutely sure. He made many of us nervous and frightened to the extent that he might take us all down with him.
Thanks for the debate, I am sorry I was so angry with you. We do have one thing in common I suppose, and that is the strength of our convictions. Please understand that it is hard for me not to take this personally. In some ways, VVAW may have saved and most certainly changed my life for the better. I still have good friends who were involved. We are decidedly to the left politically but never were we ever violent or disrespectful to our comrades. As I noted, our most sincere effort was to stop the war and bring our buddies home. I think history shows that effort to be the honest and correct one. I think history also shows the moral and ethical bankruptcy of the Vietnam war. We were all badly used and for me, I am and will always be angry with our government for doing that to us, our nation and the Vietnamese. Welcome home.
USMC 1966 - 1969.
Camil may not have been taken seriously by some VVAW members, but he remained a leader in the organization for years, murder plots notwithstanding...----------
I am a Viet Nam veteran (June 1967 to July 1968) and I retired in 1981 from the US Army after over 20 years of Honorable service. I served as a CID Agent and had the privilege of investigating some of the false allegations made by the VVAW. Of all the allegations we investigated none were actual war crimes and the majority were made by individuals who were never "in Country" or in the units, places or the times they alleged.
Thanks for the change in tone. This is obviously an emotionally charged topic, and if we can disagree without hating each others' guts, so much the better.
I investigated several allegations from VVAW members in New York State, NY City, Conn and New Jersey. This was in the 1970's and I will tell you what I can honestly recall. Some of the allegations made, by several different VVAW individuals, were that members of several units (do not remember units designation) had killed innocent civilians, cut off ears, raped children, and some others allegations that I am not sure of but may have included killing enemy soldiers who had surrendered?
In all cases, that I recall, the individuals refused to sign the statements that they made, but claimed they were true and factual. Of course they all stated that since I was with CID, the Army would say that they lied and cover up their allegations. On two separate occasions I had to notify the local authorities about openly displayed and used drugs and drug paraphernalia, one in upstate NY and one in Amityville, NY, resulting in the individuals being arrested. On one occasion the person being interviewed and his girlfriend were so stoned on Marihuana that after refusing to sign His multiple page statement, I typed on a blank piece of paper the following" I (his name) have read this statement and I swear it is the truth; however I refuse to sign it" I drew three lines and placed under them "person making statement" witness and Investigator. He signed that paper and his girlfriend also witnessed it.
One of our first attempts to verify the statements was to check the records Center in St. Louis for the unit rosters and the individuals records who made the allegation. This would tell us when and where the individual was in Viet Nam. We would also check the units logs to see where they had been, and when and if they had been in contact or reported any KIA's. To the best of my recollection all the statements I had taken proved false. Either the man had not been in Viet Nam, had not been in or near the areas or units the allegations concerned or as I recall one of the units had not been deployed to VN at the time of the allegations. I believe that NIS and OSI had the same findings in their cases. When I tried to re-interview the individuals they all refused and claimed cover-up.
I was never asked, ordered or was it ever suggested by anyone in my chain of command to cover up or whitewash any allegation. Quite the opposite we were all instructed to do everything in our power to find the truth and if the allegations were factual to pursue them for judicial action.
I wish I could recall the actual units and specific allegations made but it has been a long time and during that period we were extremely busy. Like most vets I put it aside and didn't think about it during the last 20+ years, until Kerry decided to run for President.
Thanks very much for the first-person account. The VVAW's game was -- and is -- to tell horrible, unverifiable stories, then insist that if they aren't individually disproved, why, they must be true. ----------
Somewhere in your site it is stated that John Kerry was the moderator for the VVAW. He doesn't state anywhere that he personally witnessed any of these atrocities. He is passing on the results of the meeting in Detroit and states the facts as he was told them. This is what you people are doing right now. Each of you personally could not possibly know whether he lied or not. He couldn't have lied because everything was presented to him as the truth. You people are presenting to me what you have been told by others is the truth.
We take the opposite approach: that it's up to the accuser to provide something resembling evidence, particularly when you're alleging mass murder. If there was merit to the Winter Soldier atrocity claims, you'd think somebody would have verified a few of them by now...
What I see is a man who is against the War in Vietnam. I am 57 and I was against the war. It was like putting an elevator in an outhouse; it served no purpose. I would never personally, since I am a Veteran, too, put any of you down for your service over there. Three of my brothers fought over there. I was in the service at the time and didn't serve over there but I did manage to get fully into the Persian Gulf War.
Allow the man his due. You ask if a man who lied about events in the War in Vietnam should serve as Commander in Chief. Knowing that he told what he was told was the truth about the War, what was his lie? This man certainly should be the Commander in Chief over a man who during the Vietnam Era was the Town Drunk. A man who partied harty and got into all kinds of mischief. This is a no-brainer.
The only difference between Bush and Hitler is that Bush doesn't have a mustach. Hitler was justified in his country for invading Poland for no particular reason. Bush invaded a county for no particular reason since there was no WMD and no Al Queda training camps. There was no threat to the United States from Iraq. Once again, men are dying for no particular reason. Vietnam soldiers died for the Military-Industrial Complex who made billions manufacturing equipment for the war. Now soldiers are dying in Iraq for the Oil Industry. Not one person in Vietnam or Iraq gave his or her life for his or her country.
Sometime toward the end of 2005, there is a very distinct possibility that the number of Americans who die in Iraq will equal the number of Americans who died in the World Trade Towers on 9/11. Do we call it a tie? I call it a tragedy when the same organizations that killed on 9/11 are the same that are killing in Iraq.
Thanks for listening and know that there is absolutely no way that you would agree with me. That's why I love my country and am a patriot of the first order. I don't believe in the War in Iraq but am not a traitor as I pray for every soldier to come home in one piece and shake their hands at any opportunity. I support the troops but their current Commander in Chief is a blithering idiot.
Kerry didn't just report on what others claimed, he told reporters that his own Swift units were hosing down innocent villages with automatic weapons. As attested by more than 250 Swift Boat veterans, that was a lie. Your statement that Kerry didn't know that many of his fellow VVAW members were frauds and liars also doesn't hold water -- Kerry continued to work closely with Al Hubbard for months after Hubbard was exposed as a fraud who had never been in Vietnam. And former VVAW member Steve Pitkin has publicly stated that Kerry pressured him to testify to atrocities at the Winter Soldier investigation, though Kerry knew that such testimony would be a lie.----------
But then again, these are rational arguments, which are most likely wasted on someone so lacking in historical understanding and perspective as to equate President Bush with Adolph Hitler.
As a young voter myself, I just wanted to let you know that the job you are doing is well done and I agree with all the swiftees in that John Kerry should not be President. Although, I must admit I was not around yet when Vietnam was going on I have several great uncles who were, and all served. Vietnam has always been a touchy point with my family and will continue to be as long as there are people like John Kerry alive. My support goes to you and your organization. There are those of us who have not forgotten what you went through or continue to go through.
This is as much as anything a war for the history books; that they may chronicle the service of Vietnam veterans as honorable rather than depraved. Thanks very much for helping us tell the truth. ----------
I've heard talk, now that large numbers of people are waking up to what John Kerry really represents, thanks to the courage of this site and other sources, that what he did in the 70's was all long ago and we should forgive and forget, especially if he offers an apology.
What apology can fix this, more than thirty years too late?
How do you accept an "I'm sorry" for treason, sedition and the slander of his own nation and its defenders; a slander with the goal of altering the policy of this nation to the detriment of the national security interests of the American people, the interests of its allies and its military services, and to the advantage of its enemies in war time? How do you let all of that go for the price of a few hypocritical and self-serving words?
I am an honorably discharged Vietnam combat medic veteran, and if I had terminal Alzheimer's and was drooling the last drop of my living blood with my last breath onto a bib at age 103, I'd still remember Kerry's rape of my life's honor and his assault on the country I love.
And beware . . . it is not merely ancient history. He is now leading the charge in the latest version of hate-filled, divisive, anti-American, defeatist appeasement against the present generation of valiantly struggling patriots and soldiers, who need all of the support that all of us can give them.
The only thing he should be eligible to run for is the border.
And you can quote me.
19th Engineer Battalion (C)(A)
RVN: 11/66 - 2/68
That's a pretty comprehensive overview. Our own opinion is that if enough people understand who Kerry is and what he did, he'll never be elected to national office.----------
As you suggest, it's hard to believe that the possibility even exists, but you have to play the cards that show up...
I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am to know that you are out there not only supporting but defending the men and women of our military both past and present. I am a twenty year retired Navy Chief, the son of an Army (WWII) veteran, the brother to two Viet Nam veterans and the proud father of a young man serving in the Navy's Construction Battalion as we speak.
I personally was too young to have experienced Viet Nam myself but was, as you would expect, glued to the television as my parents watched and wondered about the welfare of my two older half brothers. I remember my fathers reaction to the congressional hearings and divisive comments made by some returning vets, especially one John Kerry who seemed the leader of the band. My father called him a liar and a traitor.
I grew up with a rich military heritage and strong belief that despite all the short comings of politicians and the Washington insider machine that the guiding hand of government held the best interest of Americans near and dear to their hearts. I have, in this election, come to see that the majority of the Democratic Party and in particular John Kerry are self-serving and as my father simply stated, liars and traitors.
As many mothers are doing today, my mother would sit and cry with tears of grief when our boys came home draped in flags and tears of joy when they returned to their loved one's arms. It is for her tears then and the tears of military moms across this great country, including my own wife that I say thank you for your ongoing efforts to set the record straight.
God bless you and God bless America
Jim White MMC(SW), USN ret
Thanks. This time, let's not waste the sacrifice of our troops in the field by losing the war at home. ----------
Are you guys serious? Your site is dedicated to smearing a guy for speaking out against Vietnam war crimes? Are you mad? What do you think he was attempting..? To dismantle to American military? NO. He was trying to address a serious problem...
...You know, the whole crazy idea that people have a right to know what their government is doing in their country's name.
Have you ever heard of the Phoenix operation? Rape, torture and free-fire slaughters were the norm. Do you actually believe that American soldiers could not possibly have committed crimes against humanity. The Abu Ghraib prison scandal is just a minute example of people's unwavering potential to cast morals aside and resort to animalistic war tactics.
The Vietnemese comitted atrocities just like we did... Just like the Nazis did... just like the South American death squads did... Just like the death squads in East Timor did... just like the Afghanis, the Iranians, the Iraquis, the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Russians, the Chinese, the Japanese... just like WE DID and DO ALL THE TIME. People are vicious and blood-thirsty when faced with death, and war, and murder... When fueled by false promises, racism, hatred and intolerance, religious or otherwise. Human beings are capable of the most dispicable things you could possibly imagine when they believe they are right. When people believe they are right, and they're given a weapon, sent to a foreign country and told to kill; get the f*** out of the way. Phoenix was enacted to combat terrorist tactics by using terrorist tactics. When a Vietnamese soldier gutted a pregnant woman, we did the same. Fire-with-fire, eye-for-an eye. That's what our government believes, that's what our military believes. Deny the nature of man and you're fighting a losing battle against the truth. You're foolish and ignorant, which are the attributes that cause atrocities to begin with.
Spending so much time trying to make America out to be better than everyone else is ABSURD. You're lying to yourself and your melding with a machine that spends every waking moment keeping the masses in the dark. It's easy to occupy weaker nations by force (and America averages TWO-PER-YEAR) when the people that would protest believe you can do no wrong. Creating a false shroud of selfishness and delusions of grandeur CREATES THE VERY TERRORISM WE ARE CLAIMING TO COMBAT. Dropping devastating, explosive payloads on thousands-upon-thousands of innocent people; under pretenses that fail to mention we are trying to save them from becoming parts of mass-graves we helped dig... from a man we put in power... from totalitarianism we openly spread throughout the world in order to serve our own marketable interests IS DISGUSTING AND PIG-HEADED. It's evil at its worst and YOU ARE A PART OF IT. STOP S***TING OUT THE LIES YOU CALL A WEBSITE AND DO YOURSELVES A FAVOR... QUESTION YOURSELVES. DIG A LITTLE DEEPER FOR F***'S SAKE!!!
P.S. - You make me sick.
1. Yes, we're serious. ----------
Do I have to be a member or something to write for the CB"C"bB,CbIncomingCB"C"bB,CB segment?
2. The premise of your rant -- that rape, torture, and the slaughter of civilians was standard practice for U.S. forces in Vietnam -- is a lie.
3. Be as outraged as you like. We don't care.
I just wanted to correct one misconception. I too despise Kerry for what he did and continues to do. Never have I seen someone so utterly devoid of a conscience.
I also had friends and relatives in Nam. One of whom REALLY earned his purple heart.
I protested the war and that is what I would like to correct the impression of one writer and all readers, about. We -- that is the people I knew, and myself personally -- never disrespected our troops. Our only goal was to get our troops out of what we saw as a waste of life for political machinations. It truly was a "dirty little war" but that is not the fault of the men and women who served there, died there, and came home from there in various states of shock and illness.
The events I attended I never saw anything but our flag displayed---properly---and I never wore it as any form of clothing, nor did my friends.
Just so you know, not all of us were Kerry-like.
We were more like Arlo Guthrie-ites-----------wanting peace and brotherhood.
Brotherhood is something John Kerry knows nothing about.
No membership is required; anyone can write to "Incoming" at firstname.lastname@example.org.----------
First let me describe myself as a moderate to liberal republican who has on a number of occasions voted for democratic candidates. I am also a veteran who eventually came to oppose the war because Washington was not committed to winning it. However, there is a world of difference between opposing the war and what John Kerry did after coming back from Vietnam.
The purpose of my email is that I heard something about Kerry on Friday, Sep 3rd that has me totally enraged if it is true. I know the "mainstream" media will not investigate but it is my hope that someone at FOX, the only network I trust, will investigate and let us know if it is true or not.
I was listening to the Limbaugh show last Friday, Sep 3rd and there was a guest host - I don't recall his name. He interviewed a Journalist from Chicago at length - I believe he was with the Sun Times. His investigation has shown the following:
You make a valid distinction. We agree that many people opposed America's effort in Vietnam without alleging that our troops were war criminals. Our own focus is on the relatively small, but extremely influential subset of the antiwar movement that did accuse the U.S. military of butchery and genocide.
The suggestion that Vietnam veterans "came home from there in various states of shock and illness" reflects the popular image of Vietnam veterans, but not reality. B.G. Burkett was able to show in his 1998 book Stolen Valor that Vietnam veterans as a group have had a lower unemployment rate, more successful careers, and have been more psychologically stable than their civilian counterparts.
Sometime in 1971 or 1972 (forgive my memory, but I wasn't taking notes) there was a meeting of about 150 members of Vietnam Veterans against the War in either St. Louis or Kansas City (forgive me again). Kerry was executive director of the organization at the time. The journalist has interviewed attendees who say that Kerry was present. Kerry has in the past denied being there but now says he "doesn't remember." They moved the site several times to throw off the FBI.
At this meeting, a there was a heated debate concerning a plan to assassinate six U.S. Senators. To Kerry's credit, he argued against the plot. However, what has me so disturbed is the fact that this man, who wants to be our commanded-in-chief, did not go to the FBI and report this plot as any loyal American should do.
This along with his trips to Paris to talk with North Vietnam official while we had POWs being tortured, paints him as a traitor in my eyes. If this is in fact true, then I believe the American public needs to know and hope someone will investigate it. If you get a transcript of the show, you will get all the info.
The journalist you mention would be Thomas Lipscomb of the Chicago Sun-Times, who has written articles on the November 1971 VVAW conference in Kansas City where the assassination of U.S. Senators was in fact discussed and brought to a vote: How Kerry Quit Veterans Group Amid Dark Plot and New Witness: Kerry Was Present at Dark Plot Meeting.----------
For many years John Kerry claimed that he had left the VVAW before November of 1971 and wasn't present at the Kansas City meeting, but Lipscomb contacted several witnesses who placed him there, as do the VVAW FBI files. WinterSoldier.com published evidence back on March 19 that Kerry continued to represent the VVAW in public appearances after that on multiple occasions.
For example, the New York Times identified Kerry as "spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War" on January 11, 1972, and as late as April 22, 1972, Kerry was still being identified in press reports as a "leader of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War."
We have seen no evidence that Kerry ever contacted authorities about the assassination plot.
YOU KOOKS ARE AS CRAZY AS FRUITCAKES, DON"T YOU SEE HOW BUSH IS RUINING OUR COUNTRY? ENVIRONMENTALLY, ETHICALLY, POLICTICALLY, ECONOMICALLY THIS ADMINISTRATION IS BANKRUPTING THE COUNTRY....HOW CAN YOU PUT FORTH THESE LIES?
WHO PAYS YOU TO LIE LIKE THIS?
Nobody pays us. We're doing it for free. ----------
My uncle served in Vietnam. For years I have listened to people say the things that John Kerry said about the soldiers there being butchers and baby killers and whatever other horrible things they can think of, and at times I have wanted to scream at them. My uncle served three tours of duty in combat zones and came home to people throwing things at him as he got off the plane.
Are you able to provide evidence that any of the thousands of facts presented at WinterSoldier.com are "lies," or do you just enjoy name-calling?
I just wanted to thank yall for telling the truth. My uncle's not a butcher. He's not crazy. He's not a drunk. He raised two fine boys who now have children of their own and is still married to the woman to whom he wrote love poems while stationed overseas. He's a good man, and I'm often tempted to punch people who parrot the Kerry/Fonda/VVAW lies. I don't, of course. But I do so appreciate you folks coming forward and letting the public know - especially those of my generation (I was born in '71) and younger, who have been fed this crap since we were born.
I've had tears in my eyes as I've been writing this. It's important, what you're doing.
Thanks. Your letter eloquently addresses the false claim that Kerry "never smeared our troops, he just opposed our policy..." ----------
He smeared our troops.
I just wanted to thank you for giving America the truth about the Vietnam war. I've seen so many movies presenting American soldiers in that war as monsters and villians, I thought it was a sad fact. I'll never believe those Hollywood lies again.
Mrs. Angela Mccullough
Thanks very much for writing. That's the sort of feedback that makes this effort worthwhile.----------
Your web site is tremendous, I found it accidentally.
I have a suggestion for fund raising. I would like to read through all of
the files released by the FBI, and I'm sure a lot of researchers would not
mind spending a few bucks on getting the entire set of PDFs in CD or DVD
format. For those of us not using cable access or DSL it would be very
helpful. Why not package them and sell them. I'm sure of the legalities of
reselling government docs but I'm sure your legal people could check it out.
Regardless, I have bookmarked your site and will return to it often.
Thank you for helping to set the record straight.
BTW: I am a lifelong Democrat who like Zell Miller, will not be casting my
vote for the John F(raud) Kerry.
Thanks for the kind words.----------
We thought about charging for the VVAW FBI files as some other sites have, but decided to make them available for free. We don't have the time or resources to copy CDs and package them, but you can file a Freedom of Information request with the FBI and they'll send the files on 3 CDs for a fee of $45.
HereCB"C"bB,C"bB"s one more piece of evidence. This is a quote from KerryCB"C"bB,C"bB"s journal on the infamous Christmas that he did not spend in Cambodia.
"Tiny faces, wide-eyed and wondering, sad and bewildered, knowing death but not knowing why, knowing like [sic] but living it half dead, stare out of huts and hovels as we the bold go by. An outstretched palm speaks of self-determination and of all the good that we have done."
Odd that Kerry did not see fit to speak of "all the good that we have done" when he appeared before the Senate. Think of how history would have been changed if only Vietnamese children could vote for congressional representatives in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts...
Interesting quote. No doubt we'll be hearing more about this from the Kerry campaign if it does well with the focus groups...----------
Thank you for the fine work. It is finally coming out about the lousy
way that (should be, former) Sen. John Kerry, has treated all members of the Armed Forces who were on duty in that war torn country, doing their duty as best as they could under very trying circumstances. This unadulterated piece of garbage does not deserve to be recognized for anything other than a treasonous traitor to the flag, country and any other location. I served in VietNam twice; first time I was sent over in April 1967 until April 1968, and served in the Long Binh area. My unit was located approx. 1/2 mile from the Long Binh Ammo Depot (which at that time was the largest stockpile of ammunition in the world). During that time even though not physically in the main fray of battle, we still had quite a job. On the first night of the Tet Offensive - 1968, not more than 6 - 8 ammo pads went up in smoke from sappers getting in through the wire. That night we lost at least 9 personnel due to exploding ammo, not to mention that 6 - 8 of them were stationary guards upon the ammo pads. Through the night we dodged exploding ammo coming from the air blasts all night long. My second tour over was Aug 1969 - Aug 1970, and served in the Chu Lai area in an Evac Hosp located on the South China Sea (yeah, we had our backs to the sea). During that period of time I saw the after effects of the war in the boonies. Not a pretty sight. When the dustoff's start arriving, everyone drops what they are doing and helps out. I carried my share of litters into the Emer Room. and still suffer today because of it. My feelings about what we did over there, still say that we did the right thing. And this "man" makes me and anyone else over there a piece of fodder for the hogs. I can say only one thing about that; Bull S___!!! When I signed up in 1964, it was for my country
and the freedom which I and all American's enjoy. We all did our duty,
whether it be cook, supply, commo, grunt, etc. we ALL did our duty. When
the ballot box opens on Nov 2d., we'll see who is the fodder for the hogs,
and who isn't.
Joseph A. Chappina
This year, Veterans Day falls on November 2...----------
My brother was a Coast Guard Gunner's mate in Nam. He was on Boston Whalers
in the Delta. When he came home he suffered depression, mainly as a result
of the academic pressures community in the college where he was trying to
study at night while working at the Prudential Ins Co. He was very depressed and eventually committed suicide. The actions of his professors are something I have never forgiven or forgotten.
I have just finished Unfit for Command and wonder why some one does not
find the legal basis for prosecuting John Kerry for negotiating with the
enemy. I blame my brother's death on sympathizers with the Communists, Kerry as one of these "misguided souls."
I wonder if they ever consider their actions the basis for the deaths of the large number of South Vietnamese either by the Communist government or
trying to leave by any means possible.
We are sorry to learn of your brother's death. The treatment of returning Vietnam veterans is a dark spot in American history, and one that today's leftists, with their pretense of "supporting the troops," would like to sweep under the table. Another is the tragic story of the millions murdered by communists after Saigon fell in 1975. Their utter lack of concern for those people destroys any claim that the leftist were really advocates for peace -- more people died during Hanoi's "peace" than during America's war. Some, such as Joan Baez, spoke out against the genocide, but they were few and far between. ----------
Political reality is that no charges will be filed against Senator Kerry for his work on behalf of Hanoi, regardless of what damning evidence may turn up. Such is the nature of the system...
I am a concerned citizen, a registered Democrat and Vietnam veteran. I was a Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps in Quang Tri and Dong Ha in 1968-69. I congratulate your site for the part that it has done to get out the real story about John Kerry.
I am very disappointed with the "Main Stream Media's" dismissal of the Swift Boat Vets story and the violent anti-war stance of John Kerry during the Vietnam War (and today). Their idea of fair was to ignore this story, attack the veracity of the story and then tell us that we were all tired of this story. The Kerry supporters are now saying we need to talk about the real issues. Isn't character the biggest issue of all? If we can't believe someone, what does it really matter what they are saying? Isn't this just another case of the "Powerful Protecting the Powerful"? The key here is that it's not about medals, it's not about who was more heroic, it's not about 527s and it's not about smear campaigns. It is about character. What can we do to get some real investigation and disclosure?
What do most people know about Joe Bangert, who falsely testified to some of the most vile war crimes in the Wintersoldier investigation, and who was right next to Kerry on the stage at the DNC in Boston? What about John Hurley, the lawyer appearing against John O'Neill on most of the talk shows and the others in Kerry's "Band of Brothers" who have been with him since his days in the VVAW? What about Scott Camil, who came up with the VVAW plan to assassinate U.S. senators in 1971 and who was part of Kerry's election campaign in Florida before he was outed? Who is David Thorne besides Kerry's ex-brother-in-law and editor of "The New Soldier" and why is he still involved in Kerry's campaign today? I have seen reports that at least a couple of the Swift Boat "Band of Brothers" were also in the VVAW. I would bet that most people in the country today are not aware of these connections and would be appalled to find out about them. The media should show how John Kerry has demonstrated his "loyalty" to this group while attempting to sell our country "down the river". John Kerry and these guys saying they are ready to defend our country against terrorism is about as believable as Bill Clinton on stage with Heidi Fleiss, Pamela Anderson and Paris Hilton urging "Moral Reform."
I am sure that a lot of other people can fill in many more details than I can but none of us on our own has the ability to get these stories out. I have tried to send out a message to the networks, cable news and the newspapers to do some investigations of their own. I feel like the "Swift Boat Veterans" that this is our "Second Call to Duty" and it may be even more important than the first. We cannot allow this man to even think he can be the "Commander in Chief". It is of utmost importance that all the citizens of this country are fully informed of the true character of John Kerry. I urge all of you to write the networks, newspapers, news magazines and your representatives in Washington to encourage a full and proper investigation and disclosure of John Kerry's past and present connections to the Anti-war left and the Communist causes that he has pandered to and promoted.
To a remarkable degree the old media has moved in lockstep to dismiss or attack anything they perceive as a threat to Kerry's candidacy. This failure to give well-documented information a fair hearing has seriously undermined their credibility, which wasn't all that solid to begin with. We think that most people want to hear both sides of the story, and we are more than happy to provide the facts that the media arm of the Kerry campaign won't touch. ----------
Your points about Hurley, Camil and Bangert are well-taken. If anyone out there has new information about their roles in the war crimes propaganda campaign, we'd certainly be interested in checking it out.
Page Two of "Incoming"